Recipe Face-Off!

Recipe Face-Off: Walnut Brownies


Time for Eating Clean in the Dirty City’s second Recipe Face-Off! I first heard about black bean brownies when Rocco DiSpirito went on the show The Doctors to promote his book. I haven’t heard the best things about either him or his book, so I already knew it would unfair competition to use his recipe for this post.

But here’s someone I do trust: Joy the Baker. I decided to compare her Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies to my go-to classic brownie recipe from Big Girls Small Kitchen.

Big Girls Small Kitchen’s Brownies

Walnut BrowniesI love these. They are what brownies should be. Not too sweet, moist with a crackly top, and that teaspoon of espresso powder makes the flavor amazing.

Joy the Baker’s Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

Triple Chocolate Black Bean BrowniesI under-cooked these a little so they look a little more moist in the photo than they should (although, no complaints from me!). I was a little surprised at how good these brownies were, though I really shouldn’t doubt Joy. If you didn’t know there were beans in them, you probably wouldn’t even notice that these aren’t regular brownies. I did taste the black beans, but I thought they gave the brownies a nice kick that complemented the chocolate.

Final Verdict

As good as the black bean brownies are, I still have to pick Big Girls Small Kitchen’s brownies as the winner. They are the perfect, classic brownie for me. But Joy’s black bean brownies weren’t far behind, taste-wise. If the recipe were a little healthier (there really weren’t too many beans involved) and tasted just as good, I could call it the winner. But given the minimal extra protein and fiber compared to the regular brownies, taste still trumps.

Have you ever made black bean brownies? How did you like them?

Lunch and Dinner

Jill Dupleix’s Goat Cheese, Beans and Walnuts

I’ve told you that I’m fighting the cookbook extinction by starting to use and buy more cookbooks. I still turn to the internet for most of my recipes but it’s been fun looking at small cookbook collection too. Today’s featured recipe is from the book Good Cooking: The New Basics by Jill Dupleix (my Amazon affiliate program link). She’s an Australian-born food writer that I had never heard of before. It’s quite a random story how I ended up with this book–back when I had no idea how to cook but wanted to get started, I thought I might need some video instruction. So I saw the Good Cooking DVD on Netflix and watched it. The food looked very tasty and doable, so I ordered the book on Amazon. I’ve made quite a few recipes from Good Cooking. I like her approach to basic, healthy, but internationally-inspired recipes. Her recipes seem so simple yet taste complex.

Last week I made her recipe for Goat Cheese, Beans and Walnuts. I found it online here but you’ll have to convert the measurements if you don’t use the metric system. I got some quality produce and artisan chevre from the farmers market to make this. It’s fairly light but tastes so decadent and elegant at the same time. It’s just one of those wonderful mix of flavors that come together so well. Melty goat cheese over string beans and walnuts, drizzled in a wonderful marinade…mmmm. A great idea for Meatless Monday!